Recommended Reading

Monthly book reviews

Monthly book reviews by various authors.


Clinton Morrison, Westminster Press, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1979, 773 pp., $39.95.

For the first time a concordance of the Revised Standard Version New Testament is available which analyzes both the English words used.,and their Greek counterparts. And it requires no knowledge of Greek!

Organized according to English words, it indicates under each the Greek word (or words) so translated. Every R.S.V. New Testament passage is then listed in which the English word occurs. Thus, the approximately 400 passages in which "to give" appears in the R.S.V. New Testament are listed under 13 entries, according to the Greek word from which they come. Similarly, the more than 70 passages in which "to show" is used appear under 17 different subheadings.

An ordinary concordance to the R.S.V. would enable one to find every use of * such a word as "church" in the R.S.V. New Testament. Unfortunately, it will not mention six other passages of interest to careful students where the identical Greek word appears. The word church translates the Greek ekklesia, but not every instance of ekklesia is translated "church." Ekklesia is also translated "assembly" (four times) and "congregation" (twice). An index-lexicon near the end of this volume calls attention to this, and makes possible a more comprehensive study of the Biblical text.

This first-rate tool provides an additional help not available before. Following the normal concordance for an English word are two headings—"idiomatic" and "contextual"—that list instances in which the R.S.V. translates a Greek word freely, such as the appearance of a word implied by the context though not present in the Greek. Two important appendices—the first treating of certain problems that translators face, the second, a list of earlier readings of the R.S.V.—round out this invaluable volume.

Raoul Dederen


Paul Michey, Gary Gamble, with Paula Gilbert, Abingdon Press, Nashville, 1978, 174 pages, $7.95.

In a perceptive look at the traditional view of the passive pastor, the authors state a well-founded case for an assertive pastoral caring. They show that effective assertiveness is based on the ability of the pastor to compete with secular values for the life and time of the persons under his charge. "Indifference manifested as passive aggressiveness, overt hostility, and resistance to the gospel can be challenged only through pastoral assertiveness, otherwise the local congregation will turn inward and eventually experience spiritual and psychological stagnation."

Chapter 3 describes an assertiveness that is concerned with developing and molding values. The authors point out that assertiveness need not manipulate or control, but can free the individual to make his own choices. Chapter 4 looks at how pastoral assertiveness fits into the various physical settings in which ministry takes place.

Part 2 of the book (chapters 5, 6, 7) deals with visitation techniques, goals, methods, and guidance in the pastoral setting. Specific outlines are suggested for how pastoral visitation can most effectively be carried out. Part 3 (chapters 8, 9, and 10) applies pastoral assertiveness to committee meetings, leadership techniques, fund raising. Part 4 (chapters 11 and 12) examines assertiveness as part of the pastor's need to listen, guide, and lead as well as to be led.

The book fills a definite need by taking pastoral ministry away from a detached, humanistic, unconditional acceptance that does not care enough to confront while retaining the person-oriented concern that makes ministry essential.

Darold Bigger


Hans Kung, Doubleday and Company, Inc., 245 Park Avenue, New York, New York, 1978, 204 pages, $7.95.

Signposts for the Future is essentially a postscript to Kung's earlier and much criticized volume, On Being a Christian. The first part of Signposts for the Future ventures to produce a synthesis of what being a Christian means today, and does it in the form of twenty theses (pp. 2-44).

The second part of the volume (where the real interest lies) consists of thirteen essays on various important issues facing the Catholic Church today. One of the most important chapters is "Women and Society," in which Kung explains his conviction that "the admission of women to the presbyterate [i.e., the priesthood] should be delayed no longer" (p. 159).

In his eyes it would be "a misunderstanding of ecumenism" if the Catholic Church, "referring to the reserve of more conservative 'brother churches,' were to delay long overdue reforms such as the ordination of women" (ibid.).

Other significant chapters include a survey of the author's view on the participation of the Catholic laity in church leadership, intercommunion, worship today, the Jewish-Christian dialogue, and confirmation.

Another chapter on "The Essence of Apostolic Succession," one of the major doctrinal differences between Catholics and Protestants, asserts that this essence lies in the succession of the church to the apostolic faith rather than in a "continuous chain of impositions of hands" (p. 95).

Whether signposts for the future or not, these chapters attest that some Catholic theologians refuse to adopt an attitude of resignation and continue to stand their ground patiently.

Raoul Dederen

Ministry reserves the right to approve, disapprove, and delete comments at our discretion and will not be able to respond to inquiries about these comments. Please ensure that your words are respectful, courteous, and relevant.

comments powered by Disqus
Monthly book reviews by various authors.

November 1979

Download PDF
Ministry Cover

More Articles In This Issue

The real and the "really real"

All that we see and know is not the highest reality. While it is not a figment of the mind, it is not the ultimate. Our world is the world of man. The 'real' is the world of God."

Truth is something you are

As ministers, we should know that truth is not merely the message we are called to preach, truth is something we are called to be.

The Papal Visit: The Religious Issues

Ministry Editor J.R. Spangler interviews Raoul Dederen, professor of ecumenics and of Roman Catholic theology at Andrews University.

The Papal Visit: The Legal Issues

Controversies there were, but things could have been worse, says Author Roland Hegstad, a veteran of the church-state wars.

Put marriage on your checkup list

Early detection and treatment of physical symptoms has drastically reduced fatalities from certain diseases. You can save your marriage from terminal illness the same way.

From the Editor

What is missing in the current practice of Christianity to cause bizarre groups to flourish?

Health and Religion

A minister and his wife tell of their two-pronged attack on unwanted weight and untimely death.

Science and Religion

Conditions on Earth's nearest neighbor are not what the evolutionary models predicted.


Can a Single Person Be a Part of Your Church? Five ideas for moving singles from the periphery to the mainstream of church life.

Biblical Archeology

Ministry previews soon-to-be-published findings illuminating the world of the patriarchs.

View All Issue Contents

Digital delivery

If you're a print subscriber, we'll complement your print copy of Ministry with an electronic version.

Sign up
Advertisement - RevivalandReformation 300x250

Recent issues

See All
Advertisement - SermonView - WideSkyscraper (160x600)